What many people skip when it comes to living well.
Origin of this article
When I got the urge to write this article, I wanted to write about something other than a restaurant or a hiking trail or a product in the grocery store. They are all worthy things to write about, but they can wait for another time until after I write this.
There are so many television shows and articles and other things that emphasize the importance of doing everything humanly possible and then some to get and stay healthy. There are probably even people who try so hard to get and stay healthy that they either make themselves ill or take much of the quality out of the life they had.
While a person can get bombarded with such information at any time of the year, it seems like from September until the first part of January, there is a deluge of media coverage of this topic. This may benefit a lot of people, but it may also add to the stress and confusion people already feel in their lives.
A few great ideas that only go so far...
We get reminded countless times to do such things as:
Wash your hands
Get a flu shot
Eat a well balanced diet rich in the latest “healthy” food or substance
Get enough sleep
Get enough exercise and activity
These suggestions are great, but people can go crazy trying to do all those things and they still have many issues in their lives which are not adequately addressed and as a result they are not as healthy as they try to be and there is a peace that is lacking in their hearts.
I would like to add a few things you can try that have worked for me to improve the quality of life. I assure you, I am not a doctor or scientist. I am just an ordinary person, probably of middle age or thereabouts, who is trying to make the best of things in this life. There is much I do not know, but I have learned a few things that work for me and now I share them with you.
A few secrets
My first secret to making your life more pleasant is to get to know yourself and find out what is really important to you. What are your values? By that I mean not just morals and principles, but to what would you assign value? By knowing yourself and what really matters to you, it will be easier to eliminate the things that really do not add value to your life. You therefore should not waste your time and energy in pursuit of things that are not of value to you. So to phrase the concept a little differently, decide what is really important to you and decide what you can do without.
My next secret to making your life more pleasant is this: You know what your own needs are, BUT, do you really need to know all you think you need to know?
It is very easy to be overwhelmed with information. One of my favorite terms is TMI (too much information). All we need to do is push a button and we have access to more information than we really need to know, and it often starts around the time we get out of bed and may continue until after we are in bed. We have access to news, social media updates like Facebook and Twitter, sports, gossip, who did what to whom, who insulted whom, etc. You (we) may not be able to eliminate or control all of the information overload in our world, but it is possible to control some of our habits. Limit how much television we watch. We can learn something from monastic communities which practice a grand silence during certain hours. Perhaps we can take a break from information overload while we are eating.
Similar to the grand silence is the question: Must there always be noise? If we are not absorbing all the information at our disposal, we have much to hear. There is music any time. There is plenty of talk, on television, on radio, at the workplace and so on. There are television shows about any number of subjects, “reality” shows, etc. (Do we really need to know details about what exactly certain people discuss in the kitchen, bedroom or even bathroom? I sure don’t care about such things.) Even watching too many religious shows can lead to information overload. When I feel like I have noise overload I either turn it off or tune it out or leave the room or something.
Compiling it all & adding some more
So, do all the classic things you can to keep healthy, figure out who you are and what matters to you and pursue that. Try to eliminate all the excess clutter of noise and information and material overload. Allow for some quiet time to listen to the inner voice of your Spirit and also have some down time in your work day and on your off days.
Enjoy time with others. SLOW DOWN. There is no prize for getting there first.
Forgive others and ask others to forgive you. Forgive yourself. Learn from others and learn from the past. Change and do things differently if you are doing something wrong. Nothing is forcing you to repeat the past.
My list is not a complete list, but it does highlight a few things that work for me to be healthy, not just in the physical sense, but as a whole person. Like me, the list is changing and growing.